Axis Sally: The American Voice of Nazi Germany

Axis Sally: The American Voice of Nazi Germany

by Richard Lucas
Axis Sally: The American Voice of Nazi Germany

Axis Sally: The American Voice of Nazi Germany

by Richard Lucas


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One of the most notorious Americans of the twentieth century was a failed Broadway actress turned radio announcer named Mildred Gillars (1900–1988), better known to American GIs as “Axis Sally.” Despite the richness of her life story, there has never been a full-length biography of the ambitious, star-struck Ohio girl who evolved into a reviled disseminator of Nazi propaganda.

At the outbreak of war in September 1939, Mildred had been living in Germany for five years. Hoping to marry, she chose to remain in the Nazi-run state even as the last Americans departed for home. In 1940, she was hired by the German overseas radio, where she evolved from a simple disc jockey and announcer to a master propagandist. Under the tutelage of her married lover, Max Otto Koischwitz, Gillars became the personification of Nazi propaganda to the American GI.

Spicing her broadcasts with music, Mildred used her soothing voice to taunt Allied troops about the supposed infidelities of their wives and girlfriends back home, as well as the horrible deaths they were likely to meet on the battlefield. Supported by German military intelligence, she was able to convey personal greetings to individual US units, creating an eerie foreboding among troops who realized the Germans knew who and where they were.

After broadcasting for Berlin up to the very end of the war, Gillars tried but failed to pose as a refugee, but was captured by US authorities. Her 1949 trial for treason captured the attention and raw emotion of a nation fresh from the horrors of the Second World War. Gillars’s twelve-year imprisonment and life on parole, including a stay in a convent, is a remarkable story of a woman who attempts to rebuild her life in the country she betrayed.

Written by Richard Lucas, a freelance writer and lifelong shortwave radio enthusiast, Axis Sally: The American Voice of Nazi Germany is the first thoroughly documented look at this mythologized figure of World War II.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612001395
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
Publication date: 01/18/2013
Pages: 324
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Richard Lucas is a graduate of Hamilton College, Clinton, NY and received a Masters degree in Political Science at Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY. An avid amateur radio enthusiast since the 1970s, he became fascinated with the radio medium as a tool of persuasion and propaganda. He has written articles for World War II magazine. Axis Sally The American Voice of Nazi Germany is his first book, published by Casemate Publishing of Havertown, PA.Richard Lucas lives in Short Hills, New Jersey with his wife, Sachi, and two sons, Jordan and Taylor.

Table of Contents


1. An Unwanted Child
2. In Front Of The Footlights
3. Expatriate
4. Wolves At The Door
5. Smiling Through
6. Did You Raise Your Sons To Be Murderers?
7. Survivors Of The Invasion Front
8. Alone
9. The Stage Is Set
10. Destiny
11. Convicted
12. Penitent


What People are Saying About This

Connie Meng

For those of you interested in World War II history, there's a fascinating biography available. It's Axis Sally by Richard Lucas. The first half of the book follows her unusual childhood, her failed struggles to build a career in theatre in New York, and her career in Germany before and during the war. The second half chronicles her arrest, eventual trial for treason and her years in prison. Many of her actual broadcasts are reprinted, and the entire book makes interesting if a bit nauseating reading. (Connie Meng, Canton Public Library)

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